The Boys’ Brigade has held many competitions over the years. This year, 15 of us were fortunate enough to represent the 1st Klang Company in the Selangor State Drill Competition which was held on the 28th of May at the Sri Sedaya School in Subang Jaya. Our team was made up of 2 corporals, 6 lance corporals and 7 privates. Two of the members served as reserves. Our squad was led by Corporal Seelankumar a/l Mani. We knew that taking part in this competition would require discipline, hard work and a lot of sacrifice, especially since most of us were rookies in drill competition and our training started only a month before the competition. In addition, most of us would be sitting for either PMR or SPM this year. However, all of us were determined to prove ourselves.
The training sessions were extremely tough. We had to wake up early in the morning and finish late in the afternoon. The weather was always hot and never in our favor. At first, we were not fully aware of what this competition really meant and because of that, we were not totally serious during our training. We were unorganized, our salutes were not straight, our postures were not right. There were even times when some of us would not show up for training. There was a long list of mistakes that needed mending. Our instructors, W/O Leshvind and W/O Joel Bharath pushed us to our limits to get us to not only learn all the right moves, but to master them as well. Even though we gave them such a hard time, they were determined to see us through.
After a week of not getting any results, our instructors decided to let us know why it was so important for us to do our best in this competition. The reason was because of the good reputation in drill that the seniors of 1st Klang had built over the past years. Only then did we realize the big shoes we had to fill. We knew it was time to really get serious and gear up. With the remaining time we had, we put our heart and soul into our training. We had a responsibility to maintain our company’s image. It would not be easy, but we would give it our all. We even had a drill camp to maximize the time we had left. A day before the competition, we had our final training. During that last training session, the sun shined brightly and it was searing hot. However, that did not matter to us. This last session would be our most important training session and we had to make it count. After the end of the session, our instructors told us to meet back at the Wesley Methodist Church at night. As we would have to leave early the next morning for the competition, it would be better if we stayed over for the night. Although it would have been advisable to get enough sleep, but not for us. We stayed up late to prepare and make our uniform as neat as possible. Whether it was our boots, belt or haversack, we made sure to leave nothing unpolished. Once we were fully satisfied, we finally got some rest.
Early next morning, we woke up with only one thing in our minds, and that was to win the Selangor State Drill Competition. We quickly got our things ready and within a few minutes, we were ready to leave for the competition. A few other instructors and primers had also come along to give us some support. We took a bus to get to the school. We brought along some buns as we would not have much time to stop and have some breakfast. The journey was only about half an hour. Once we reached there, we were stunned to see how many other companies had come. We instantly felt nervous but at the same time, were more fired up to win. We assembled inside the school compound for registration.
The first part of the competition was the uniform check. All the companies present assembled in their respective squads on the basketball court to be inspected. Our instructors had one final look at our uniform before got into our squad. We had to stand in the “Sedia” position while waiting for the officers to inspect us. The officers had to go from one squad to another which took some time. Once it was our turn, each of us were hoping that our uniforms were excellent. However, there were a few minor mistakes in some of our uniforms. Once the inspection was over, we were allowed to fall out. We used this time to get ourselves ready for the most crucial part of the competition, the drill phase. Now, we were really nervous. In order to get our confidence back, we cheered our company motto 3 times. That definitely gave us a heavy boost to our confidence.
After a few companies had drilled, finally it was our turn to perform what we have been practicing for weeks. At the command of our commander, we marched onto the basketball court ready to put what we had learned to good use. Our commander, Corporal Seelan, gave every command loudly and clearly and the rest of us followed it as perfectly as we possibly could. There was no denying that there were a few mistakes. Once we were finished, we marched off the court before falling out of our squad. We were a little less confident with ourselves again, but we knew we had given it our all. After every team had finished, we were allowed to take our lunch. We were all starving and jumped at the word ‘lunch’. This time was also used by the judges to decide the winners.
After everyone had their lunch, we were commanded to fall in at the basketball court for one last time. The moment had finally arrived. We were about to find out whether our efforts were not in vain. Before announcing the winners, the officers said that all of the companies were good but there was still room for improvement. Then they announced, “The second runner-up goes too… The 2nd Subang Company,”. That made us nervous and excited at the same time. Next, “The runner-up goes to… The 1st Kajang Company,”. We felt even more nervous and excited. At last, “And the champion of the 2011 Selangor State Drill Competition is…… THE 1ST KLANG COMPANY!!!”. None of us could believe it. WE HAD WON!!! We marched proudly to receive our medals. No words could describe how we felt at that moment. We were thankful to our instructors for putting the effort into training as hard as they did. All that time we had spent in training was worth it! Although we had won the competition, we were still amazed at the strength, confidence and willpower of the other teams. We learnt that it’s is not about winning alone, it’s also about what we learn from the competition and doing our best. Seeing so many companies present made us proud to be members of the Boys’ Brigade.
Not long after the competition ended, it started to rain cats and dogs. This made it hard for us to get to our bus. After the rain had subsided slightly, we made our way to the bus to go home. All of us were excited to show everyone our medals. Too bad it was a Saturday. Finally our worries were over. We laughed and joke throughout the whole journey back. Once we arrived home, we cleaned up Wesley Methodist Church because we had left it in a mess. After a long day, we said our goodbyes before finally going home.
The journey throughout the entire drill experience was a great one. Not only did we learn new things and become better Boys’ Brigade members, but our bond with each other were stronger than before. This was an experience that none of us would ever forget.
Note from Web Admin : On behalf of our family in Christ in Klang Wesley, we are proud of the young, able young men of 1st Klang. To God be ALL the Glory!
Post & Pics : Allen Tham & 1st Klang Company